First, there’s the blistering pace of life. Everyone I talk to says they feel busier than ever. Then there’s the deluge of media coming at us in a sort of mesmerizing digital spell. This is all very hard on the soul. But what got my attention was what was happening to me as a person.
I found myself flinching when a friend texted and asked for some time. I didn’t want to open email for fear of the demands I’d find there. I had a shorter and shorter fuse in traffic. I felt numb to tragic news reports. It made me wonder—am I becoming a less loving person? I had little capacity for relationships and the things that bring me life—a walk in the woods, dinner with friends, a cold plunge in a mountain lake. When I did steal a moment for something life-giving, I was so distracted I couldn’t enjoy it.
Then I realized—it wasn’t a failure of love or compassion. These were symptoms of a soul pushed too hard, strung out, haggard, fried. My soul just can’t do life at the speed of smartphones. But I was asking it to; everybody’s asking theirs to.
I’m guessing you’ve experienced something similar. Has your soul been looking for something? Are you aware of what it is?
If we had more of God, that would really help. We could draw upon his love and strength, his wisdom and resilience. After all, God is the fountain of life (Psalm 36:9). If we had more of his lavish life bubbling up in us, it would be a rescue in this soul-scorching hour.
Jesus heard even my surface prayers; he came to my rescue and began to lead me into a number of helps and practices, what I would call graces. Simple things, like a One Minute Pause, that were accessible and surprising in their power to restore. Learning “Benevolent Detachment”— the ability to let things go. Allowing for some transition in my day, instead of just blasting from one thing to the next. Drinking in the beauty God was providing in quiet moments. My soul began to recover, feel better, do better. I began to enjoy my life with God so much more. I began to get my life back.
God wants to come to us and restore our lives. He really does. But the process needs to be accessible and sustainable. We’ve all tried exercise, diets, Bible study programs that began with vim and verve but over time got shoved to the side, lost in the chaos. I have a gym membership; I rarely use it. There are those books I haven’t finished, loads of podcasts too. Rest assured—the graces I am offering in Get Your Life Back are within reach of a normal life. I think you’ll find them simple, sustainable, and refreshing.
God wants to strengthen and renew your soul; Jesus longs to give you more of himself. “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life . . . and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28–30, MSG). You can get your life back; you can live freely and lightly. The world may be harsh, but God is gentle; he knows what your life is like.
What we need to do is put ourselves in places that allow us to receive his help. This six-week study will show you how.